Government to relax top 250 uni rule for scholars this year

National 2 minutes, 20 seconds


THE Ministry of Education’s (MoE) Scholarship Section will be giving “special consideration” to prospective scholars this year who have already applied to study at universities that are not among the top 250 universities in a global ranking system.

Head of Scholarship Section Hj Ibrahim Hj Bagol disclosed this during a scholarship briefing session for students and parents at Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan Science College yesterday.

Last month, MoE officials announced that a scholarship applicant’s intended education institution must now be ranked in either the QS World University Rankings, Times Higher Education World University Rankings, or the Shanghai Jiao Tong University Rankings systems.

Special consideration will be given this year, however, because some scholarship applicants have already applied to study at universities based in the United Kingdom (UK) before the MoE announced changes to their scholarship requirements, Hj Ibrahim said.

The said applicants are expected to commence undergraduate study in the September 2015/2016 academic session.

However, as with all government scholarships, Hj Ibrahim said scholarship applicants should not expect to be guaranteed a scholarship.

During the session, the department head also informed students and parents about the Education ministry’s basic scholarship requirements.

These include having to score 300 UCAS tariff points (without grades lower than Cs) or 32 International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma points.

Applicants must also have at least a credit in Bahasa Melayu and English Language in their O-level examinations (or an English equivalent).

Hj Ibrahim also explained what students can expect when attending the multiple-mini interviews (MMI), which is held as part of the scholarship application process.

He also listed the undergraduate courses currently required by the country.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Defence (MinDef) officer Susie Haslinda @ Shazwana Humaira Na’asya Abdullah provided a briefing on MinDef’s scholarship requirements and the selection process, the latter she claimed will be “unbiased and transparent”.

Susie said the aptitude test component of the MinDef scholarship selection process, which accounts for 25 per cent of the process, is evaluated or marked in Singapore and not in-country, to avoid suspicions of favouritism.

“We are also transparent in the sense that we will provide applicants who fail to get a MinDef scholarship with feedback, so that such applicants will be able to see for themselves the areas where they can improve,” she said.

Among the eligibility criteria for the MinDef scholarships include Bruneian citizenship (with yellow identity cards), strong interest in a career with MinDef or the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), excellent records of curricular activities (CCAs) and leadership potential.

Susie also emphasised that MinDef is currently particularly interested in students who intend to study dentistry, medicine, law, mechatronic engineering (robotics), IT forensics, IT engineering and naval architecture.

The scholarship briefing session was organised by the Science College Careers Centre in collaboration with the school’s Parent-Teacher Association.

The Brunei Times